Martial arts>Fraud>Detecting>Accreditation

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Some martial art organizations have more "Ph.D.’s." in them than your local university.


Many pseudo-masters claim to be a "professor" or have an M.A. (master of martial arts), have a Ph.D. in budo or martial arts, or have some such degree from some obscure organization founded by another pseudo-master who, for a fee, will certify anyone as a professor. Phony Ph.D.’s are everywhere.

Anyone may profess to be a professor. However, a true professor is one who has the designation bestowed upon them by an accredited college or university then the person has met its strict guidelines. A Ph.D. is a doctor of philosophy awarded by an accredited college or university after many years of research and study. Only certain colleges and universities are permitted to bestow Ph.D.'s. You cannot receive a legitimate Ph.D. for life experience.

In one example I examined:
  • Master A received his doctorate from the University of Oriental Philosophy, a diploma mill that was closed by the State of Maine. 
  • The "university" was operated by Master B who was Master A's instructor.
  • Master B received his Ph.D. in criminal justice from Columbia Pacific University, another unaccredited school that was closed by the Marion County Superior Court in California due to the school awarding excessive credit for prior experiential learning to many students, failing to employ duly qualified faculty, and failing to meet various requirements for issuing Ph.D. degrees. 

Another "university" that issues Ph.D.’s is the International University of Martial Arts Sciences, located in Pakistan. Many "masters" claim Ph.D.’s from this place. To get a Ph.D. from them, you just need to:
  • Have a master's degree, which they will send you for $150. You will need a bachelor's degree to get a master’s degree but, for $100, they will also send you one of them.
  • Submit any kind of certification (fake ones from the Internet will suffice) that shows you are a 5th-degree black belt or above.
  • Submit a "thesis" on any martial arts topic or sports sciences topic.
  • Send a detailed resume and passport size photos.
  • And, of course, send $250 dollars.

You do not have to go through all the hassle of tuition payments, book costs, reading, research, class attendance, study, or homework; or need worry about such things integrity and credibility. For just $500 you too can have a phony Ph.D. degree to hang in your office and use to fool yourself and your students.

Look at the profession of a martial arts “professor.” Ask yourself, "Why does a "professor" with so many degrees behind his or her name have to work as a martial arts instructor in a strip mall?" One would assume that a person with so many degrees would have a more prestigious job, such as teaching at a legitimate college, being a successful author, or being a successful business person.

Those who deal with these phony "universities" are examples of the "fruit of the poison tree" doctrine. If the one who bestows martial art rank or education degrees received his or her rank or degree from an illegitimate organization, then any ranks or degrees he or she bestows are also illegitimate.

Widespread problem

Accreditation is not just a problem in the martial arts. You also must be careful with dealing with people in other professions. For example, since more and more people have started saving for their retirement and want to invest the money wisely, many people are seeking assistance from financial advisers. If you do some looking around, you will find that every person who has some investment to sell has an acronym behind his or her name that signifies accreditation from some financial organization. Many of the designations are as easy to attain as a black belt certificate and thus are useless.


Accreditation is a voluntary, independent review of educational programs to determine that the education provided is of uniform and sound quality and adheres to academic standards. Being awarded accreditation ensures that an institution has been evaluated and that it has met set standards of quality determined by the organization granting the accreditation.

Accreditation also determines a school's eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs and is important for the acceptance and transfer of college credit. Accreditation is maintained by continued adherence to the set criteria.

The most recognized and accepted type of accreditation in the United States is regional accreditation. Generally, college credits or degrees received from a regionally accredited institution are accepted by other regionally accredited institutions. However, this acceptance is not guaranteed; each institution establishes its own policies on what credits it accepts. The United States Department of Education recognizes six organizations as accrediting agencies. You may check to see if an institution is regionally accredited by visiting the website for the regional accrediting board that covers the state in which the institution is located. The accrediting agencies are listed below.


When a "college" is unaccredited, you do not know what you are getting since it does not have to adhere to any nationally accepted standards, and its "degrees" are practically useless. For example:

The American College of Martial Science is run by the International Combative Arts Association, which for a fee will issue anyone a soke certification. For another fee, the college will issue you a Ph.D. in martial arts. The "college" is “accredited” by the Apostolic Council on Educational Accountability, which is itself is unaccredited, which means any institution it accredits is also unaccredited. So, for a lot of money, and little else, you too can be a Ph.D. soke.

Remember, every pseudo-master/professor breeds many pseudo-mini-masters who, by association with the pseudo-master, are themselves frauds, and every rank certificate awarded by a fraud is bogus. The student receiving the certificate may not have been aware of the fraud, but that does not make the certificate any less bogus. A person with a bogus medical degree is not a medical doctor, no matter how much training or experience the person claims to have.

Accrediting agencies

  • (MSA) The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation of colleges in the middle states region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico).
  • (NEASC) The New England Association of Schools & Colleges. Accreditation of colleges in the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
  • (NCA) The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation of colleges in the north-central region (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming).
  • (NASC) The Northwest Association of Schools And Colleges. Accreditation of colleges in the north-west region (Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.)
  • (SACS) The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation of colleges in the southern region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia)
  • (WASC) The Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation of colleges in the western region, which includes California and Hawaii, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Pacific Basin, and East Asia, and areas of the Pacific and East Asia where American/International schools or colleges may apply to it for service.
Generally, large well-known universities, such as Harvard and Yale, and statewide colleges are regionally accredited, while smaller, private colleges may be nationally accredited. Programs of study that are regulated by national or state licensing boards may require specialized or professional accreditation, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the American Bar Association. The Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintain directories of nationally recognized and specialized accrediting agencies.

Programs that are nationally accredited may not transfer to regionally accredited institutions. One well-known accrediting agency is the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which accredits institutions offering correspondence or other independent study programs. However, programs accredited by the DETC are not commonly accepted by regionally accredited institutions.

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